The number of people choosing to walk or cycle to work, study or for leisure in Auckland has been steadily growing in recent years. That number is set to increase sharply with a huge investment in walking and cycling improvements planned for the city. Cycling is cost-effective, provides certainty of travel time and for many people is the quickest means of transport. Research indicates making the transport network safer for people on bikes is the most effective way of achieving the goal of 30% increase in cycle journeys by 2019. The NZ Transport Agency, Auckland Transport and Auckland Council are working together on a $200 million programme of cycle improvements over the next three years. The focus is improving connections to public transport interchanges, as well as into, and around, the city centre.
A key aspect of Auckland’s walking and cycling network is planning for safe and direct connections to local communities, destinations and cycle routes on the North Shore. A 3km separated walking and cycling path, currently known as SeaPath, is proposed between Esmonde Road in Takapuna through to Northcote Point. This will provide a connection between the Northern Busway and the existing Northcote ferry service, along with existing walking and cycling routes in the area.
Three route options have been investigated, as well as multiple options for connecting with the existing street network and southern and northern ends of the proposed pathway. Following a series of site visits, research, analyses of opportunities and constraints, and stakeholder feedback, the current preferred option is for a landward route between Northcote Point ferry terminal and Esmonde Road, largely on the western side of the Northern motorway.
To date, Resolve Group has assisted this project through:
- peer review of past technical work
- development of cost estimates for the three potential route options
- project risk assessment
- update of economic evaluation for the three potential route options
- assistance through the public consultation process, including development of consultation material and presence at public open days
In the future this path will work in conjunction with other proposed projects to provide a direct walking and cycling connection between the North Shore and Auckland’s central city. Increasing numbers of pedestrians and cyclists are expected following the completion of two other proposed projects; SkyPath, a shared pathway attached to the eastern side of the Auckland Harbour Bridge; and the Additional Waitematā Harbour Crossing.
More detail can be found in the NZTA SeaPath project newsletter.